A gay New York meteorologist who claims he was fired after someone sent nude webcam photos to his employer and mother is asking to be reinstated, accusing the sender of revenge porn.
Erick Adame, an Emmy-nominated meteorologist who has worked at Spectrum News NY1 since 2007, admitted on Instagram Monday that he secretly appeared and performed on an adult video website while employed by the station. He said the actions were “100 percent consensual” by everyone involved, except for an incident in which someone took screenshots without his knowledge. He said he was not paid for his performances and apologized for his participation.
But after his bosses received the screenshots, Adame was suspended and then fired last week, according to the webcam company’s subpoena petition his attorney filed Monday in New York County Supreme Court.
In his first interview since leaving Spectrum News, Adame told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle Tuesday night that while some may have felt offended when they learned of his involvement with the adult website, what he did was okay with him. , doesn’t seem wrong. .
“I’m unequivocally unapologetic about being sex-positive and being myself — being openly gay,” he said.
Adame, 39, said he never discussed his involvement with the website, which is owned by Unit 4 Media Ltd, at work. He also pointed to New York City Health Department guidelines at the height of the coronavirus pandemic that encouraged New Yorkers in March 2020 to “virtually enjoy sex” through activities such as video dating, sexting and participating in chat rooms.
A Spectrum News source said company management had been working with Adame for months after the webcam incident and before his departure. The source, who would not confirm whether Adame was fired, said Adame’s departure had nothing to do with his sexuality and argued that the company promotes an inclusive environment. The source said the situation is more complicated than it appears, but declined to provide further details, citing privacy concerns.
According to a petition filed by Adame and his lawyer, an anonymous user of the video site took nude screenshots of Adame and sent them to his employer and mother in December “with the intent to harass, disturb or upset him.”
The petition says the user did not have Adame’s permission to share the “intimate” images. After learning the photos had been taken, Adame asked Unit 4 Media for more information about the user who shared them. But even after the company said it could help identify the user, it refused to release the information without a subpoena, the document says.
Lawrence Walters, a lawyer for the webcam company, said in a statement that it is the company’s policy to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas and provide relevant user data when required by law.
Walters wrote in an email, “Capturing and distributing user content without consent violates our customer’s terms of service and forum rules, which may result in suspension or banning of offending accounts.”
The subpoena petition also asks the court to compel the company to share with Adame any documents or messages that could help identify the user. Adame has accused the user of violating the state’s revenge porn laws, though it’s unclear whether he could or would sue the user depending on the outcome of the petition.
“I’m a victim, whether it’s classified as revenge porn or not,” Adame said.
New York City Councilman Erik Bottcher, who represents the Manhattan borough where Spectrum NY1 is located, seems to agree.
“I support Erick Adame who is the victim of someone who tried to ruin his life by sending nude photos of him to his employer and mother,” he tweeted. Bottcher included a link to the New York City Health Department’s Safe Sex and Covid-19 Guidelines, which recommends New Yorkers “virtually enjoy sex” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Speaking to Ruhle, Adame admitted that as a television personality — someone for whom “the rules might be different” — he may have had an “error in judgment.” But he also said he feels like his employers have old-fashioned expectations of him.
“I didn’t commit a crime here,” he said. “What happened here is the opposite.”
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